Your lawn’s health relies on many factors. Of course feeding, weeding and watering contribute to healthy grass, but you may not know that mower height belongs on that list as well, affecting much more than basic aesthetics.
Effects of Proper Lawn Height
Cutting grass at the proper height encourages new growth, which leads to a denser lawn. And density comes with many benefits. A dense, healthy lawn withstands pests better and discourages weeds, requiring less chemical intervention. A denser lawn also withstands drought and wear better, helping protect the soil and prevent erosion.
Effects of Improper Lawn Height
Cutting your lawn at the improper height, however, can cause damage. Remember in school when you learned about photosynthesis? Grass needs enough blade height to turn sunlight into energy.
When the blades are cut too short, the grass can’t convert enough sunlight to sustain a vigorous root system. A less vigorous root system absorbs fewer nutrients and less water, ultimately restricting growth and inviting pests, weeds, erosion and other unwelcome issues.
Variety of Heights
To determine the optimal mowing height for your lawn, first identify the type of grass growing in your yard. Each variety grows best within a slightly different height range.
For instance, Bermuda and Zoysia grasses are happiest at 1 to 2 inches, while Bluegrass and Fescue enjoy a taller cut, around 2 to 4 inches (3-4 inches during summer months).
When to Go High
Letting grass grow freely without regular mowing not only upsets the neighbors, it also inhibits growth and invites disease, fungi and rot. However, some situations warrant a slightly higher mower setting.
Obey the 1/3 Rule
One mowing rule is universal, no matter the variety of lawn — never cut more than one third of the grass height in a single mowing. The sudden change in height upsets the crucial balance between the grass blades and roots, injuring the lawn.
Occasionally the weather and your busy schedule may conspire against you, allowing your lawn to get out of hand—it happens. Resist the urge to cut the extra growth in a single mowing. Instead, maintain your usual schedule and cut only one third of the height at each mowing until your grass returns to the optimal range.
If you need assistance selecting the perfect grass variety for your shady or problem area, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Turfgrass Professionals at NG Turf at 770.832.8608 or info@NGTurf.com, who are ready to provide expert guidance and help you create a beautiful, thriving lawn tailored to your specific needs.